Friday, October 15, 2010

Congratulations ReeSe, you are the winner of the Farmstead tickets. Thanks to everyone who participated!

This flaming red maple tree in our backyard is usually our first clue that fall is in the air.

Soon we make a trip to the corn maze and pumpkin patch and bring home some cool-looking pumpkins for our front porch.  
Before we know it, the wind has taken the leaves from the trees and I find tiny and not-so-tiny feet sticking out from under the leaves. 

And a new fall tradition this year.  Healthy soups for dinner.  Maui Black Bean Soup, Moroccan Pumpkin Soup, Roasted Butternut Squash Soup,  Roasted Root Vegetable Soup, Squash, Bean and Corn Soup,  Lamb Stew with Beans and Pumpkin, Roasted Red Pepper Soup, Roasted Tomato and Black Bean Soup (pictured above) and many, many more.  Mmmmm, I love fall.  

And I know you do, too.  Thank you so much for sending in your comments about your fall family traditions.  It was a pleasure to read about the things you love to do during this wonderful time of year.  And a big welcome to the family who just moved here from Florida who will be experiencing their first ever fall in Idaho.  I hope you enjoy it.  Since you are new to town, let me suggest my favorite photographer.  I know a lot of you mentioned taking family pictures in the fall, that's also something we like to do.  In fact, that picture of the toes in the leaves was taken by Sweet Grace, a division of Cazier Photography.  Cazier Photography is the most professional and amazing family photographer in Idaho.  You will love your experience with them.  Without further ado, I would like to announce the winner of my very first giveaway----four tickets to the Farmstead Corn Maze and Pumpkin Festival!  The winner was chosen by random selection.  (I told my husband to pick a number between 1 and 23).
And the winner is......ReeSe! Congratulations ReeSe, you are the winner of four tickets to the Farmstead.  Email me your mailing address and I will mail these tickets to you asap.  

Thanks for playing everyone!  If I ever get another opportunity like this in the future I will be sure to let you know.   Maybe I can hit someone up for some Idaho Stampede tickets or other sporting event.  (I doubt my husband is willing to raffle off his BSU Bronco football tickets).   Go Broncos!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fall Giveaway

I am so happy to announce my very first free giveaway!  I have four free tickets to the Farmstead Corn Maze Festival and Pumpkin Patch that I will be raffling off on October 15th.  It has been our family tradition to go to the Farmstead every fall.  What is one of your fall-time traditions?  To enter please leave me a comment with your name and one thing you love to do in the fall between now and October 14th at midnight.   Let's see how many comments we can get about not getting bored in Idaho.

Don't forget to check back October 15th to see if you were the lucky winner of 4 free tickets to the Farmstead Corn Maze Festival and Pumpkin Patch.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

We have to go every year or it just wouldn't be fall.

The Farmstead is our fall family tradition.  We go every year.  People ask me all the time which I like better, Linder Farms or the Farmstead.  We have been to both Linder Farms and the Farmstead and the Farmstead is our clear favorite.  For the amount of things there is to do, the Farmstead has a lot more to offer.  Not that you won't enjoy yourself at Linder Farms, we did, but we just enjoy the Farmstead more.  

Like I said, the Farmstead has a lot to offer.  There's the corn maze, of course, the straw maze, the jumping pillow, the corn cannon, the pig races, the corn box, the slides,  Bunnyville, the kids' corn maze, hayrides, a pumpkin patch, Straw Palace, the cow train,  the pony rides, and the Field of Screams.  There's also a large courtyard filled with food choices.  If you go on game day you'll see the guy at the corn dog stand with his flatscreen set up and tuned in.  Besides having all these things to do you don't have to worry about paying for anything once you get in.  With the exception of the pony rides, pumpkins, and the food everything else is paid for with your admittance.  There's no hassling with tickets or anything like that.

I love how the Farmstead was the first to come up with the idea of the corn maze 14 years ago.  What, you didn't know they were the original corn maze?  I also love how they try and improve upon what they do year after year.  Corn Cannons?  I mean who would have thought of that?  And the girl just loved them!  I'm impressed with the efforts they make to keep it new and exciting year after year.  They even built a bigger platform for the slides since it often got crowded with all those kiddos at the top.  Also new this year is the Straw Palace .  It's big enough to hide in and small enough not to get lost in.  The new additions helped the boy who has a vivid memory get over the fact that they didn't have the peddle carts or the duck races this year.  

Being the smart adventure seekers that we are, we planned our trip to the Farmstead when we thought it would be the least crowded.  We ventured out on opening weekend and Game Day. Yes, Game Day, with a capital GD, the day all of Boise is at the stadium and the rest of us are out having fun.  Hee, hee.  It was a smart move on our part as we had the whole place to ourselves.  

We arrived around 6:30 and stayed until 9:30 pm.  And we didn't even go through the corn maze which would have kept us there another 45 - 60 minutes.  I'll admit it took us a while to get adjusted to the new location.  (Did I mention they have a new location off Overland and Eagle Rds?)  Once we got our bearings and the boy got over the fact that they didn't have the peddle carts this year or the duck races, we were able to really enjoy ourselves.  We checked out the jumping pillow first and then the corn cannon, then over to the pony rides which only cost a dollar a person.  After the pony rides, the kids played in the corn box.  I don't know if you are familiar with Michael Pollan's book, The Omnivore's Dilemma, but I couldn't help thinking of the chapter "How Corn Took Over America" as the kids played in a box of corn  kernels.  My goodness, corn has a lot of uses in our society and the Farmstead is no exception.  Let's hear it for King Corn.

After picking the corn kernels out of their ears, we ventured over to the Straw Palace to play hide and seek.  The cow train was next and the kids loved riding over the bumps that are also new this year.  Next up the pumpkin patch and then a relaxing ride on the hayride.  The girl can't understand why I love the hayride so much.  I told her it's because it's the only time I ever just sit.  I know all you moms are sighing right now at the thought of sitting and doing nothing.  Ahhhh.  Doesn't happen enough, does it?

After the hayride we wandered over to the pig race that started at 8 pm.  At the beginning of every pig race they ask for volunteers to cheer on a pig and every year the girl jumps up and down with her hand in the air hoping to be picked.  This year since there were so few people there that night the girl actually got picked to cheer on a pig.  To top it off, her pig, Boarbra Walters won the pig race!  She won a free dessert from Dutch Oven Creations.  We found our way over to Dutch Oven Creations in the courtyard and gorged ourselves on the most delicious scone topped with cinnamon and sugar and icecream.   This was an extra special treat for my kids who aren't given anything unhealthy to eat in our home.  They indulged in every bite.  Lastly, we didn't walk through the corn maze like we usually do because, frankly, I don't trust myself not to get lost in mazes and there wasn't anybody going through that we could  follow.  That's okay though because we'd been there for three hours and it was time for bed.  

Just when we thought the night couldn't get any better, we ran into Hilary, the co-owner of the Farmstead who gave us four free tickets to raffle off on this blog.  Awesome!  

Things to remember:
Wear shoes and socks if you want to be most comfortable.  Bring or wear appropriate clothing such as coats, jackets, hats and gloves because it gets cool at night.  If the weather is warm bring sunscreen and lots of water.  Allow yourself plenty of time to spend there.  The corn maze takes about an hour and all the other activities combined take at least one or two hours.  Don't forget your camera for all those photo ops.  Bring dollars for the pony rides, pumpkins, and money for the food court.  Remember their location has changed to Overland and Eagle Rd.  Enter on Overland just east of Eagle Rd where the carpool place is.  Have fun!

Check out their website for hours of operation and directions.  They open at noon on Thursday and Friday, October 7 and 8 for teacher inservice .